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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon discussing the concept of “Niche” with Grant Spanier and Vince Koci of the 10,000 hours podcast. If you haven’t listened to any of Grant and Vince’s episodes, you need to start now! Each week, they discuss different ways people work hard to do what they love, and they host some amazing guests – like Jeff Sheldon of Ugmonk and marketing expert, Seth Godin, just to name a couple.

During our podcast, Grant, Vince and I discussed “niche” – it’s advantages, pitfalls and how every entrepreneur must define their own path to success. Listen to the podcast here!

Thank you for having me, Vince and Grant!

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For my entire career I’ve dreamt of having my work featured on Design* Sponge, and earlier this year my dream came true with a studio tour feature! Thank you to my friends, Shannon Grant for writing such a lovely article, and Bethany Platter for taking the stunning photos! I’m still on cloud nine over this one :)

Read the full article and see all of the photos here!

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Last year, Maribeth Romslo – a Minneapolis-based filmmaker, director and storyteller – contacted us in search of a brand refresh for her company, Hello Sunshine Films. Much like her personality, Maribeth’s work blends warmth and peace with captivating details. We knew this unique mix of the serene with the epic needed to play out in her branding as well.

We first flushed out the aesthetic direction by diving into the meaning of the company name, which no surprise, stems from a story. Maribeth had a special relationship with her grandfather, and one of her favorite childhood memories was waking up in his Colorado home to his cheery greeting –  “hello sunshine!”

Inspired by the sun and the matching neutral colors of Colorado’s landscape, we paired custom sun- and film-inspired illustrations with pops of shiny metallics and layered bokeh moments. Some of our favorite details throughout the site include the custom play buttons and vintage-film inspired hover function on the portfolio.

Maribeth was such a joy to work with and we couldn’t be more happy with how her branding played out. Make sure to head over to her site and check out all of her beautiful films!

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While we love our bright colors here at MaeMae & Co., we’re equally into creating punchy stationery via interesting graphics, layering and texture. Last year, Sherrylyn and Daylan came to us seeking wedding stationery that would match their refined, but playful vision for their Hawaiian wedding. Blending inspiration from vintage island ephemera with cheeky wording, a black and white color palette and various print methods (one-color letterpress, blind letterpress, engraving and digital) – all resulted in a suite that was classic, fun and perfect for a Hawaiian celebration. Be sure to check out some more detail shots of Sherrylyn and Daylan’s full stationery suite in our custom wedding portfolio.

Fun fact: when our couples have refined invitations, it’s fun to be a bit more bold with other stationery pieces – like we did with Sherrylyn and Daylan’s luggage tag save the dates!

Calligraphy by one of our favorites, Plurabelle. Wedding planning coordinated by the talented Volare Events. Gorgeous wedding photos by Weddings by Sasha.

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We always love working on custom reception stationery – there’s so much opportunity to incorporate quirky and unique details into each piece – and that’s what happened in an EPIC way with Jennifer and Joshua’s day-of stationery. As a die-hard Star Wars enthusiast, Jennifer had the genius idea of integrating her fandom throughout the wedding to create tons of fun, personalized touches. The result? (literal) Stormtrooper escorts, Death Star coasters and hints of Star Wars in the music, programs, table names and signage. Thank you, Jennifer and Joshua for asking us to create the reception stationery, and congratulations on your alliance ;)

Jennifer and Joshua’s wedding was recently featured on Green Wedding Shoes – check out the post for a run-down of all the details and vendors.

Day of photos by the talented Cacá Santoro Photography. First photo by MaeMae & Co.

 

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btm_maemae_13As I previously shared, here at MaeMae we have love collaborating with other artists and partners. I am so thrilled to announce that this February we are partnering with an amazing foundation here in town, Be The Match, a non-profit dedicated to saving the lives of patients in need of marrow transplants.

After being connected to Liz over at Be the Match (thanks for the introduction, Melissa!!) I was so inspired by the Liz’s stories of the enthusiasm and passion supporters of Be the Match have for people they love as well as people they don’t even know.  I wanted to create a notecard set that shares the same heart of the foundation and its supporters through unique design, luxe printing, and a beautiful message on the cards.

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The design process started with this inspiration board and then I decided to add color through hand painting washes and then applied the washes to patterns from our new wedding collection. The sentiments were fun to come up with because I thought about the people I’m most grateful for and what I would want to say to them. The three messages on the cards are:

Dear ____ , xo _____

Thanks., Love _____

I’m so proud of you.

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I’m so pleased at how the collection turned out!! These exclusive notecard sets are now available in the shop. When you purchase a set of these notecards, $3 of your purchase directly supports Be The Match’s mission of saving lives of patients through marrow transplants. The funds will be used to help grow the Be The Match Registry so more patients can find their match, provide financial relief for families struggling with uninsured medical costs and advance the science of marrow transplantation. To learn more, visit BeTheMatch.org.

We created 100 sets of six notecards which include three designs and are printed on heavy cotton cardstock. They feature beautiful watercolors inside of patterns finished with gold foil. The perfect gift for yourself or that special someone! Share your love and gratitude with the ones who support you the most–while supporting an amazing cause!

Share your own set on social media using the hashtag #maemaegratitude.

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Creating a mood or inspiration board (both digitally and physically) is an important part of our design process at MaeMae & Co. It sets the tone for the entire project, and acts as a guide as we move through designing each element of the project. However, if you’ve never worked with a mood board before, we realize that the concept can be a bit confusing. Next time you work with a creative who is using a mood board (or next time you make one for yourself!), keep these two tips in mind:

1. It’s all about the feeling: The point of an inspiration board is to create a visual vibe for your project. It is not a place to nail down specifics like exact fonts or images, but rather think of it as creating a world that your brand, website or wedding stationery would live in.

When making a mood board, we focus on defining the color scheme, texture and graphics that best represents the project’s world. Rather than copying those inspirational images exactly, we use them to guide our design choices and find or create similar graphics for your unique project. For example, if we include an photograph of roses and an etched wreath in a mood board – we may combine those two visuals and create a vintage wreath made of roses for the project’s monogram.

2. But, you won’t get what you don’t see: While an inspiration board is about the vibe of the project, we do follow the visuals closely when designing. For example, if there are blocky fonts paired with a vintage script in a mood board – don’t expect to see modern calligraphy in the first design proof. We always encourage our clients to point out anything in the mood board that they feel is missing. So if they have their heart set on modern calligraphy, we always edit the inspiration board to include an image that represents their request. Similarly, if there is something on the mood board that a client isn’t digging, we’ll remove the image and replace it with one that better reflects their idea.

Check out our mood + method blog series, and follow us on instagram for more inspiration!

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When starting MaeMae almost 7 (!) years ago, I quickly realized how integral beautiful images were for growing my business. Through trial and error, I learned how to style my products and create photos that represented the colorful and happy mood I want my clients to feel when thinking of MaeMae. Because styling became one of my favorite parts of the branding process, we integrated it into our services via content creation (styling + photography) and one-one-one styling seminars.

So when LAB approached me about teaching an Instagram + Styling LAB with fellow Minneapolis graphic designer, Kayd Roy, I jumped at the opportunity. On Saturday, Jan. 24 and Saturday, Jan. 31, I’ll explain the art of styling great Instagram photos – and then Kayd will teach the class how to create a strategy for building powerful Instagram communities – whether for personal or professional use.

Learn more about our LAB and sign up here, and make sure to check out the other great events LAB has scheduled!

I hope you can join us, it’s going to be a blast!

xx, Megan

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Meet Charles, our English Rose. He’s elegant, understated and forever lovely. Charles is heavily inspired by The Secret Garden—but his floral elements are grounded by a graphic illustration style and clean typography choices. We love that Charles is simultaneously vintage and contemporary—a perfect choice the the most timeless of celebrations.

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Charles can be a produced in so many ways. We’re showing him in a tone-on-tone peachy hued letterpress printed on our creamiest white paper (ecru). To keep things from feeling too sweet, we added some unexpected details: shiny foil edge painting and a metallic wax seal.

Here’s a few other ways we think Charles will be cool:

1) Go woodsy— forest green ink and kraft paper envelopes.

2) White engraving on navy paper

3) Florescent white paper with blind embossing on the floral graphics and pale gray text

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It’s a sensation! Since it’s launch, only a few short months ago, The Mrs. Box has already become a wedding industry favorite—not to mention something of a social media celebrity. Here at MaeMae, we’re proud to say we saw this coming from a million miles away. When Summer Watkins, owner and designer of The Mrs. Box came to us last spring to create her product branding and packaging, we knew she was on to something special. She had identified a hole in the marketplace—the perfect little package for every girls’ prized possession—her engagement ring. Summer (many of you may know her as lady Grey) lives and breathes her personal and editorial style—colorful and feminine, elegant with a playful, modern flair. Her new venture, The Mrs. Box, is no exception and we were thrilled when she approached us to create its branding and packaging. We’ve been lucky enough to work with Summer to infuse her style into the branding and blog design of her company, Grey Like Weddings and her own wedding invitations as featured in Martha Stewart this past fall. Summer loved her wedding invitations so much that she wanted to carry some of the illustration elements through into The Mrs. Box branding. The perfectly sweet, petite ring boxes come in a bright, rainbow of limited edition hues. Covered in vintage, french silk-velvet, the palette will change seasonally as each color sells out. So, one of our goals when creating packaging was to build a presentation box and shipping materials capable of supporting and representing the ever-changing product colors. So, we kept the palette to a minimal white, grey and gold foil and we reimagined a crest and shield for the collateral and embellished on it to create an elegant lattice pattern, designed a super-flirty gem sticker and a perfectly elegant foil-stamped box. Here’s a glimpse at the project. You can see more in our branding portfolio, or you could always just order your box today to see for yourself. Now, if only it weren’t so hard to choose just one color…

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Throughout 2014 I’ve been scheming with my friend and talented illustrator, Cait Courneya on an exciting home decor collaboration. And today we’re (out of our minds!) excited to announce that our decorative pillows and illustrated prints are now available for purchase in the MaeMae shop and on Cait’s site. Cue happy pillow fight!!! (not recommended per the care instructions tho…)

Even though we’re both now here in the Minnesotan tundra, Cait and I have both lived out in the palm tree-lined streets of the Los Angeles area and we were inspired by our old home, other dreamy tropical destinations, and bold pattern. The MaeMae & Co. + Cait Courneya home goods collection features two pillows and four prints curated in a clean black and white palette. Art created by Team MaeMae and Cait is featured on each piece of the collection. The pillows were hand-sewn here in Minneapolis and feature beautiful watercolor prints on the front and a contrasting fabric with an exposed zipper on the back. The posters are printed on yummy matte paper that look equally as stunning framed as they do pinned on a wall. You know how we like to pin on our walls! For more detail on the materials and sizing, check out the individual products in the shop.

Thank you Jahna and Minnesota Monthly for including us in the latest issue!! Read the interview here.

Here are some photos from our instgram account (@maemae_co) of the prints around the MaeMae Studio:

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We find endless inspiration in interior design, so diving into the world of home decor has felt like such a natural and thrilling step. We’re already dreaming up the next line and can’t wait to see where it leads us!

As I mentioned in this post we will be collaborating with many more artists and creatives throughout the year so keep an eye out for our next project launching in February!!

A big thanks to our friend Wing of Canary Grey for these beautiful photos!!!

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This week’s Mood + Method is for what we’ve entitled a “luxury dude ranch” wedding in Colorado this coming summer. The wedding stationery suite will be layered and textured with gold rush inspired elements and sepia watercolor. Um yeah. Pretty cool. The save the dates are at the printer and here is a little snippet from the watercolor process.Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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Something we love here at MaeMae & Co. is a fresh color combo. It’s always fun to see how dramatic the result can be when changing up the color palette of one of our collection characters. Here’s a favorite example from 2014.

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Allie + Bobby’s taupe, citron and leaf green palette is a gorgeous and sophisticated take on our tropical gal, Roxy. She went from coconut bra to country chic with a simple swap of hues and we’re still swooning over this one at the studio.

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Interested in seeing your wedding colors on one of our collection characters? We are too! Get in touch today and we’d love to discuss.

 

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All photos from our instagram account: @maemae_co

MaeMae & Co. is currently seeking to fulfill a 3 month internships (non-paid) for those interested in the design, photography, branding, and stationery industries.  The position will start in mid-January. School credit preferred, though not required. You must be based in the Twin Cities area during your internship. My goal for every intern is that they will walk away feeling prepared and equipped to begin a fruitful career in the creative industry. You can read more about some of my past design interns’ experiences here.

Duties will include:
+ assist in photo shoots
+ fulfilling shop orders
+ creating content for social media and blog
+ general assistance with studio needs
+ stepping into design projects to help
+ managing wrapping and shipping of product

Required skills:
+ proficiency in Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop
+ proficiency in prepping files for production
+ great taste and understanding of product styling
+ comfortable with camera
+ comfortable uploading to WordPress
+ great understanding of type design, composition, and color theory
+ consistent availability
+ open to new ideas + learning
+ respectful, great communicator, exemplary work ethic
+ tidy + organized

Things you will learn during your internship:
+ how to successfully collaborate with clients
+ methods and systems to approach new projects
+ problem solving and appropriate ways to handle difficult people and situations
+ how to style photo shoots
+ how to work well in a team
+ insane attention to detail
+ pretty packaging and presentation for clients

You can download the Design Internship application here. The application is due Monday, January 19 by 5PM CST. To be considered for this opening please send an email entitled “ Internship Application” with your .PDF portfolio (no more than 10 MB) resume, cover letter + application to jobs (at) maemaeco (dot) com in a single email.

Note well:
Due to the volume of applications received we will be unable to respond to every email received. Please DO NOT call to follow up on your application. Fill out the application by using Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Pro. You can download the free version of Acrobat Reader here. Do not add your own style or design to the application or hand write it.

Tags: MaeMae news
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maemae_branding_good_stalk8Bree and Kelly of Drop It Modern, an amazing prop and display resource for photographers and stylists, came to us to design their blog called Good Stalk. Here’s how the creators describe Good Stalk “ …finding interesting people who make and do interesting things, then collect their thoughts, links and resources that everyone is hunting for. Good Stalk is after Good people and Good stuff. So if you think about it, we’re not really stalking. We’re just making friends. And friends of friends…” Cool, right?

Of course we LOVED the idea (see more about the mood + method and visual direction here.) As makers ourselves, we had plenty of ideas of visuals we wanted to experience in a blog of this nature. We drew inspiration from the artistic process and the hands-on nature of creators and makers. We all knew we wanted to explore the idea of brush strokes and painted textures—whether it be in the letter forms or in the supportive design elements. We also wanted to make sure that the blog design was clean and streamlined to support the visual variety amongst the artist profiles and highlighted design trends. After countless splotches and splashes and custom painted type, we settled on the perfect blend of fine art and clean design in the Good Stalk site you see online today. Make sure to check it out and don’t Megan’s artist feature on their blog!

Bree and Kelly were exceptional branding clients. We work with numerous creatives to help them develop their brands and online experiences and the Good Stalk team was incredibly organized with their materials and vision. We really got to take the concept and run with it.  Mind Meld! Then, along came the bonus—Bree and Kelly decided they loved Good Stalk so much that they wanted to apply to design to Drop It Modern. We could not have agreed more. The elements were there, so we adapted them to pair alongside their Drop it Modern products line. We got out the paintbrushes again to create some new swirls out of some thicker acrylic paint for the Drop It Modern header and logo. We are so pleased with this addition to the project and were thrilled to continue the journey of creating with Bree and Kelly.

Thank you, Bree and Kelly, for trusting us with your babies! We couldn’t be more pleased with how this collaboration turned out!

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This Mood + Method board is for a project that launched this week: Good Stalk! We can’t wait to share the full project with you tomorrow! Here are our notes we paired with this inspiration board to deliver to our clients:

– the eclectic sophisticate, inspired by a designer’s sketchbook and weighted by a clean design sensibility
– graphic whimsy—a style that can stand on it’s own but also creates a platform for varied content/styles
– balance is key— pops of bold/unexpected color are used sparingly within a mainly neutral palette
More tomorrow on the process and full project reveal!

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